For that reason, many people opt for a minivan or an SUV as they can take multiple passengers and cargo quite easily.
When looking at SUVs, one model that should come to mind is the Kia Sportage.
This car has been in production since 1993, and now it has transformed into the ultimate family package.
When compared with the competition it’s easy to see why this is one of the higher rated SUVs on the market today.
As a small crossover SUV, the Sportage is designed to be both comfortable and economical.
It doesn’t use as much gas as the bigger models, but it’s also not as cramped.
However, older models of the Sportage did have some relatively significant setbacks which kept it from attaining top-tier status.
Fortunately, for the 2017 model, Kia went all out and created something that rivals all competitors.
So, if you’ve never been impressed with the Sportage before, now is the perfect time to take a second look.
One of the issues with the older versions of this SUV was that the backseat was a bit cramped.
This was particularly the case if you have small children who require car seats, as they could bump up against each other if you weren’t careful.
Fortunately, Kia has listened to its customers, and now the car comes with so much room that most families won’t need anything extra.
One of the main reasons to get a crossover SUV is that it handles much better than something larger.
That is especially true with the new Sportage, which feels incredible while driving, particularly when taking tight turns.
Whereas older SUVs had a problem of tipping over, this almost feels like a sports car since it’s so nimble.
Overall, you will enjoy every minute driving this vehicle.
These days, merging high-technology with your car is practically standard, so you can expect to see integrated programming with this model.
If you opt for the stripped-down version, you won’t get extras like Apple CarPlay, but you will still have a high-quality touchscreen on the dashboard.
The overall design of the car’s systems feels both familiar and stylish, making the Sportage look more like a high-end luxury vehicle than a moderately priced family car.
What the Experts are Saying
“It’s hard to find style and versatility in the same place, but the redesigned Kia Sportage delivers on both counts.
You’ll like the number of features that Kia has packed into this small crossover, too. It’s one of our top choices for 2017.
For the fully redesigned 2017 Sportage, Kia directly addressed two of our primary complaints about the previous model.
First, the formerly cramped back seat is now remarkably roomy, to the point that a family might not need anything more.
And second, the formerly firm ride is now relatively compliant.
In short, we’re running out of reasons why the Sportage isn’t a head-of-the-class standout among small crossover SUVs.” – Edmunds.com
Read full Edmunds.com 2017 Kia Sportage review
“All-new for 2017, the Kia Sportage compact SUV is sharply dressed inside and out, boasts loads of technology, safety and comfort amenities, and continues to offer one of the best warranties in the business.
As a rival to best-selling crossover SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape, the Kia Sportage more than holds its own.
If you want a small SUV with high style, an excellent warranty and the latest safety features like automatic emergency braking, put the Kia Sportage on your shopping list.” – Kelley Blue Book
Read full Kelly Blue Book 2017 Kia Sportage review
As you can see, people are more than impressed with what Kia has done to this car.
While the Sportage has never really been at the top of anyone’s list, this year proves that Kia still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Although there is a lot to like about the redesigned Sportage, there are still some areas that need improvement.
As such, there may be some issues that could wind up being deal breakers, depending on you and your family’s needs.
Here are the things that might give you pause.
Another primary selling point of a small crossover is that it should be far more economical than a standard SUV.
However, the Sportage is lackluster in this department.
Although Kia has improved the gas mileage slightly, it is still behind most of the competition.
So, if you’re looking to save a bit of money by getting a smaller vehicle, this won’t necessarily be budget-friendly.
With only two rows of seating, you can’t fit much more than five people into the Sportage.
While most families won’t necessarily be complaining about this, if you want something that can hold the entire soccer team or something like that, you won’t find it here.
Also, cargo room is lacking, so you may have to scale back a little when packing for that family vacation.
When compared to other similar SUVs, the Sportage hovers a bit below the middle of the pack.
What the Experts are Saying
“While it falls short of the segment’s elite, the Sportage lineup encompasses three competent models, including a sporty turbo version.
A long list of premium features, such as adaptive headlights and high-tech safety assists, are pluses that balance its disappointing fuel economy and cramped cargo area.
Cargo space is cramped, and storage room for smaller items is lacking, but the Sportage is not the worst in its class.
Its carry-on luggage capacity with the rear seats folded, plus a couple of simple tricks, save it from the doghouse.” – Car and Driver
Read full Car and Driver 2017 Kia Sportage review
Overall, if you aren’t too concerned about burning fuel and you don’t need much storage space, then the Sportage can provide excellent returns for your investment.
The 2017 model comes in three different trims: LX, EX, and SX Turbo.
Let’s see how they stack up.
This variation has the smallest wheels (17 inches), but it still comes with a host of stellar standard features.
These include a five-inch touchscreen, rear climate vents, and a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth capability.
Overall, even with the basic model you still get a lot of juice.
If you live in an area with inclement weather, then you want to upgrade to this version.
In addition to getting slightly larger wheels (18 inches), you also get fog lights, a windshield de-icer, and heated front seats.
It will make winter driving a lot more enjoyable.
You also get some extras like a seven-inch touchscreen, leather interior, and dual-zone climate control.
For our money, this is the trim package to get.
This version rides a bit better, but most of the upgrades are superficial.
You get some added lighting effects for the mirrors and dashboard, and your touchscreen is eight inches and comes with a navigation system.
Interior accents are also sleeker, and you get some improved comfort bonuses as well.
Overall, this trim is only for those who want their car to look the best.
Available Packages w/ Price Range
When trying to pick out the right version of the Sportage for you and your family, there are several options from which you can choose.
Obviously, the trim package is going to have the most impact on the price, but you can also pick between front and all-wheel drive, with the latter adding about $1,500 to any model.
Here is a rundown of the price points for each variation of this crossover SUV.
These numbers are also an estimation, so exact prices may vary depending on the dealer.
- LX 2-Wheel Drive: $23,800
- LX All-Wheel Drive: $25,500
- EX 2WD: $26,600
- EX AWD: $28,200
- SX Turbo 2WD: $33,700
- SX Turbo AWD: $35,300
As you can see, there is quite a bit of difference between the LX and SX models, but as we mentioned above, most of what you can find in the Turbo is superficial or unnecessary.
While the SX does handle better and comes with navigation, it’s hardly worth an extra $10,000 for all of that.
We still recommend getting the EX model as it has plenty of climate features and comfort bonuses that will make your drive much more enjoyable.
In the end, the 2017 Kia Sportage has reinvented itself to become a top contender as a family crossover SUV.
So, if you’ve never really paid attention to it before, or if you were turned off by some of the older issues, you will be more than pleasantly surprised by what you’ll find.
Overall, this is a fantastic family car that will turn any trip, whether it’s to the grocery store or the Grand Canyon, into a delightful journey.